Salary, cellary…sell to me…retirement fear

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary”

Fred Wilson

The salary trap, like an invisible prison, is perhaps the toughest mental shackle to release ourselves from. Everyone needs money right?

If there is one topic, question, statement or concern that people have about our lifestyle it is the retirement fear.

It goes something like this…

“Sure you are enjoying now, but what about your retirement? Carry on like this (working part-time and enjoying life now) and you will be in a world of trouble later in life!”.

There is some irony here. Invariably the speaker often saves less than 10 % of their income. Perhaps none of it.

We on the other hand save somewhere between 35% (minimum) up to 72% (maximum). Instead of participating in the race to turn beautiful natural resources into toxic trash as quickly as possible we use our financial leverage to provide income that diminishes our need for salaried work. As each season passes we become more able to live independently from salaried employment.

We intend to have an increasing income over our lives meaning that every year we have more freedom to do as we please. In contrast too many people that follow the traditional path may be in for a rude surprise when they retire and finally give up their salary after a lifetime of dependence. This all goes down at a point in their life when health and living costs have never been higher.

If my calculations are correct a 10% lifetime saving rate will not put anyone in a very strong position at retirement. The tragic truth is many people retire without any savings at all. Some own their home, but many do not and most are completely at the mercy of charity and whatever pension scheme their government provides.

For us stepping out of the salary trap was a wise move. As I’ve said before we choose meaning over money. We are making every effort to decouple a good quality of life, and the happiness of our family, from salaried income (or money in general).

We don’t worry about retirement. Hey we’re already enjoying a semi-retired lifestyle about 40 years earlier that most!

It’s important to reflect that the biggest salary in the world has no real power if you return it all back to the merchants and the shop keepers. The only point of dull salaried work is the income that you keep for yourself. If you keep none then there is no point to the dreary workday cycle you call your life.

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